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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 3) 2014/15

Yoica van 't Slot, École Ruette, Belgium, mobility for internship, KPZ

École Ruette
Rue de Longuyon 64
6760 Ruette
Directrice: Brigitte Lallemand
Mentor: Stany Maitrejean

My address in Belgium:
Rue du bon dieu Gilles 24
6760 Virton

Financial report


Room                                                €300,- monthly
Groceries                                         €100,- monthly
Train to Belgium                             €50,- one way
Bus to school                                   €3,- one way

In the second year of my education we had the choice to go abroad in the third year. I choose for a country where the speak French. This choice is because I love the language and I hope I can learn more French speaking. I speak about it with Harrie Poulssen and he was very enthusiastic because there was never a person who liked to learn that language. Together with Harrie I looked for a school  that would like to help me. Harrie knows a high school in Arlon/Virton and he contacted that school (Haute École Robert Schuman. It had a good result because Patrick Galliez send a response back. He would look for a primary school for my intership. After a few weeks he found two schools for me. I had a choise between a very small school with only two classes or a school with 5 classes. I chose the ‘big’ school because two classes is very little. This was the school Ruette and it is located in Virton/Ruette.
I contacted that primary school and they told me that I was placed in the class of Stany. That’s a class with children from 8-11 years. After contacted the school I had to fill in a lot of papers. I have to make complete the placement agreement between the KPZ, École Ruette and me. I filled in the placement agreement and send them to Patrick Galliez and he signed it. Also the KPZ and I signed it to make it complete.
For my intership, my first intention is to learn the language. I would speak more and more French and I would also understand what they say to me. The second thing is to give some lessons in French over there. I would also introducing working in groups because they give classroom lessons.
The last thing I had to do was find a place to sleep for three months. I asked Patrick to help me because contacted the tourist information had no success. Patrick asked the primary school and there was an teacher who would give me a place to sleep for the first week. I send that teacher an email to ask her i fit was possible for sleep over there for three months. She was agree with it and I rent a room in her house for three months.

At home I practice with my language a lot, but it is very hard…


The first week in Virton
I arrived here at Sunday 1 March 2015. I say goodbye to my mother and my boyfriend at home and my father drives me to Virton. We arrived at 15:30 hour and we had a warm welcome from Emilie. First I brought al of the stuff to my room. After it I looked for a place for everything in the room. My father left and I was alone… For the first time of my life was I all alone in a place I didn’t know. The next day the internship started. The class is big (30 children) and the tables are placed in rows.  It is a class with the third and the fourth year on this school (it is different from the Netherlands). Sometimes the class is together en sometimes it are two classes. When the class is together they get the same lessons and the same exercises. There is no differentiation. Another difference with the Netherlands is that they have no other work to do when they finished the work. They wait, they talk a bit, they bored.. When it is time to have a break the children stand behind the chairs and wait for a sign from the teacher to move out. Also when they come back in school (after the break), and when they come back in class they stand in a row, quiet and peaceful, until the teacher gives a sign to come in. There are almost no methods used I school
and the teacher invents some sentences and calculates pour the lessons.
I gave 3 lessons this week. My mentor asked me to learn the children some Dutch words, so I did. The first lesson I learn them some useful words and the next day the children arrived with: ‘goedendag’ and no more bonjour to me. At the end of the week they can say: ‘Goedendag, mijn naam is… Ik woon in… en ik ben.. jaar.’

The culture is also different from the Netherlands, while it is close to the Netherlands. Every moring the teachers give 1 kiss to each other to say good morning. In France they give 2 kisses, in the Netherlands 3 and here they give 1. The second different thing is that most of the children lunch at school and then they eat a warm meal.

For myself was the first week very hard and I was very tired. To understand the language and to talk back is hard. The first week (and probably also the second week) I am more an student in the class. I follow the lessons and listen good to the language.
Also to be here alone is good for me. I find it difficult to miss home, but Skype is an good resolution. On Friday I missed the bus because there was a market and I went to school with an person I didn’t knew before.  




The second week

Tuesday morning I planned all of my lessons for the next 4 weeks. After 4 weeks it is holiday. I am going to give a few lessons of Dutch words and sentences, lessons about the Netherlands, lessons mathematic and lessons artistic.
Tuesday evening Lucien asked me to help him with the test for Friday. Lucien is the child of Emilie, where I live with and Lucien is in my class at school. So I read the test and he write down the sentences. I checked it and he had 2 faults. After it I asked him to do the same for me, so that’s good for my language. He was shocked, but surprised and he did it. After it he checked my test of sentences and I had also 2 faults. It was very good for my language and it was also very nice to do it together with a child of my class.
Wednesday morning I gave my first lesson of mathematics. It is difficult in French, but it was nice. That evening I went to the doctor here because I cough for 5 weeks. The doctor was very helpful and give me some medicines. The doctor here is open all the evening, it’s different with the Netherlands. Over here you paid the doctor cash after your visit.
Thursday I had baked some waffles with a part of my class and with the head mistress of the school.
Friday was my last Friday I went to school, because from next week the Frida is my off day. This week went very quickly!


Het third week


This week was a busy week for me. I gave more lessons than last week. I started this week with working in groups. This is new for the kids, because they worked most of the time on their own. In the beginning it was hard for the kids to work with another, but it is getting better. It is nice to try something news in class. Every week I will try something new for the kids.
We also visit a show for kids. It was a show of one man, in the gym. The show was intended for the ages 3 to 12, and we went to the show with the whole school. It was good for me to watched that show, because I found out that I understand more of the language now. I understand what he was doing in his show.
This Friday my parents arrived for a visit. I cooked something for them en showed them my room. It was good to see them after a few weeks. After dinner we went to Luxembourg for the hotel. It was a nice weekend and I have a lot of fun.
Now just two more weeks till the holiday.


Het fourth week


This week I also gave some lessons. I feel more comfortable in French now and I can speak better. Tuesday morning is very easy for me, because the class get some religion from another teacher. I decided to work at school on my reports. Because I needed some internet, I worked on the computer at school. After 2 minutes the computer stopped working… It is an old computer and it works very slow. After 45 minutes the computer works again, but too late for me. Next week I take my own laptop to school.
Tuesday evening I babysit of the children where I live with. We had eaten some bread and soup, because they eat warm during the lunch. After eating we watched the voice of Belgium.
Wednesday I gave a mathematics and I tried another cooperative game, ‘genummerde hoofden’. I have created groups of 4 and gave every child a number. It was good to see the enthusiasm of the children. It was a new way of working during the lessons mathematic, but they had a lot of fun.
Saturday I went to Arlon, it is an city near to Virton. I visited a friend there. We bowled and have some dinner in a very nice restaurant. Now it’s Sunday again and it’s a rainy Sunday… This afternoon I have the birthday party of Lucien, one of the children who I live with.
Only one more week for I go back to the Netherlands for two weeks.




The fifth week


This week was the last week before my holiday. It was a good week. I learned the children some new words and they gave a presentation in the Netherlands. It is a bit funny to let them speak in Dutch because they have totally another sound and voice. But they did it very well. This week is the birthday of the boy where I live now. It was on Tuesday and two girls asked me for the birthday song in Dutch. I typed out the birthday song en gave it to them. Before I learned the children some new Dutch words, these two girls sang the birthday song for him in Dutch. Great to see the enthusiasm of the group and me also! Wednesday was the first of April. In the Netherlands it is a day with funny jokes, but here they called it ‘poisson d’avril’. It means day of the fish. The children made some fishes with paper and put it on my back and the back of the other teachers. They wrote also ‘piosson d’avril’ on the blackboard and hid the chair of the teachers. Another class was all in pyjama at school to make a funny joke. Fur the lunch I was invited with by mother of Emilie. It was a nice meal, we ate a sort of cheese fondue.


The sixth week


This week is the first week after my holiday. It was a normal week, but only two special things were happened. The first is an fire exercise.  My mentor wasn’t there that moment, so it was all mine… The children moved out in a long row. I checked the toilets and closed the windows. Outside I counted the children en no one was missing J. The exercise was organized by the fire-brigade and they controlled the school and checked of it was fast enough. After the control all the teachers and children walked to the gym for waiting. The fireman came for a control.
Wednesday the whole school had a project. Every class gets his own area around the school to search trash and cleaned up the nature. With my class we walked through the nature en to the near village there. We’ve found a lot of trash.
I gave also my own lessons and I started with the first lesson of the project Netherlands-Belgium. I will teach the children the differences between these countries. Is was an good lesson. We talked about the flag, the language and most of it about the traditions and party’s in both countries, because this was the subject for the first week of the project. The children made some pictures and little texts for the big poster. They worked with two together and there was more noise than normally. My mentor doesn’t like that noise and asked the children for more silence. That was sadly because they really talked about the subject and they worked hard. Maybe better next time.


The children in my group learn a lot of words in Dutch. One of them told me he spoke Dutch with another man and he liked it so much. He used the words I had taught him and that makes me proud. Another boy told me that my French was very good and he was proud of me!


The seventh week


This week I saw for the first time an adaption for some children. They sitting on a fitness ball now because the move to much when they use the chair. Monday the children write a poetry for mom’s day. My mentor wasn’t there at the beginning of the day so I started on my own. When he came in, he was glad to see me doing my thing. A lot of children knows that it is Queensday in the Netherlands now because I told them about it last week. But it was also a little party in the class, because we had a birthday of a boy. He brought three pies with him and drinks for all the children. It is a sort tradition here that you bring some food and drinks for your birthday. For me it is more like a party at home, than a little thing for the class. But for here it was quite normal. During the break the children stay inside for celebrate the birthday.
Wednesday my mentor and I placed three tables near to the place of the teacher. These children need another place and some more control. Also we talked about a new theme for the class. That will be gardening. They make an own garden with tomatoes, potatoes and some other food.


The eighth week


Last weekend the manageress went to my house for inviting me for dinner, but unfortunately I missed her visit. Monday a girl gave me a cupcake, made by herself and especially for me. This girl is very helpful and spend a lot of time with me, par example during the break. Wednesday the group started with the new theme, garden. The first group started with prepare the ground for planting, but that takes a lot of time so during the first two hours there were groups working in the garden for preparing. The children had carried a shovel and boots for working in the garden.
After they had worked in the garden, I had my lesson of mathematics. I played a game with the children. I asked them a table and passed the ball to one of the children. The one who catch the ball must give the answer. It was very nice to play the game, all of the children were motivated and had a lot of fun. I can also differentiate during the game. The easy ones for the weakest en the hard ones for the better children.
Thursday was the last time for me to work with a group for finishing the card for mother day. I made a card with Dutch tulips and every week another groups worked with me. Because there was a lot of work to do for finishing all the presents, I also went to school on Friday. I helped with finishing everything and the result was great!


The ninth week


Almost the last week and also a very short week. Last Saturday my boyfriend came here and stay until Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday I went home for lunch together. Monday the children had a no prepared dictate. My mentor asked me to made it for practice my language. I made the dictate and scored a 7, a good mark I thought. Tuesday I learned the class ‘Vader Jacob’ in Dutch. They had the same song in French so it was nice to have the same song in Dutch. There were also some children who knows the song in another language!
Wednesday I first had my stage at morning and after that I visited Luxemburg with my boyfriend. The weather was very good and I had enjoyed it. After visiting Luxemburg we drives back to The Netherlands. It is a long weekend and my mom celebrates her birthday on Saturday. The weekend was nice and it was good to be at home. I saw my family and some friends.


The last week!


The last week of my wonderful stage is a little bit complicated. Saturday I baked a pie at home so I had to give it on Monday. All of the teachers and children liked it very much. There were a lot of them who asked me the recipe, so I translate it in French for them. The children in my class loves the pie and ate all the pie, even the little crumbs. The first day of my last week there was again a no prepare dictate and this time I had 10!
Tuesday morning I prepared the children for the presentation on Wednesday. It is a presentation about all the differences the Netherlands and Belgium, it’s a kind of a summary of all my lessons the last period. Tuesday afternoon I made some ‘Pepernoten’ with the children. I made three groups and every group made the same recipe.
Wednesday the children gave the presentation in the different classes. They were a little bit nervous, but it was a good end of all my lessons.
Thursday was my last day at school and this afternoon we went outside for a walk. With all the 33 children. We have suffered the little mountain towards the French border. It was a good walk, with lots of sun, humor and lovely children. After one hour, the manageres brought us some pie of the anniversary of one of the children.  At the end of the walk there were a few children that cried. I asked them about it and it was because I had to leave the school. It was very sweet and special and all of this makes it hard to say goodbye. At my first two weeks I thought it was not a good decision, but now I missed the children….
And I reached my goal, I spreak better French now!





You must dare to spreak the language. I gave lessons from the firts week, the first day, but I learned also a lot of participate the other lessons.


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